Governor Walker plans to sign two bills relating to K-12 education today. They are:
AB 478 Pupil Records of Pupils in Out-of-Home Placement – Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan)
This bill is designed to permit child welfare workers to gain access to pupil records of pupils in out-of-home placement (e.g., foster care). It incorporates into state law recent changes made to the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal educational privacy law) by the Uninterrupted Scholars Act.
The bill will permit a school board, on request, to disclose pupil records that are pertinent to addressing a pupil’s educational needs to a caseworker or other representative of DCF, a county department, or a tribal organization that is legally responsible for the care and protection of the pupil, if the caseworker or other representative is authorized by the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), that county’s department, or that tribal organization to access the pupil’s case plan. Continue reading Governor to Sign Two Education Bills Today
WASB Government Relations staff hand delivered our budget veto letter to Governor Walker this afternoon.
The Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education (FCA4PE) is sponsoring 6 rallies throughout the Fox Cities on successive Tuesdays. Three rallies took place in Appleton, Neenah and Kaukauna on June 8, 16, and 23. Three more are scheduled in Kimberly, Menasha and Little Chute.
The remaining rallies are Tuesday evenings from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and will be held at the following locations: Continue reading Community/Parents’ Groups Rally In Support of Public Education
Here is a sample letter boards can use when communicating to your legislators about the K-12 education proposals adopted to date by the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) . We encourage you to use this letter as a guide. You may also want to refer to the set of “talking points” on the JFC budget proposal we posted earlier if you want to raise additional concerns.
(Please note that the sample letter does not specifically address removing provisions relating to voucher expansion or the creation of special needs vouchers. If your board wishes to include comments on voucher expansion/creation of special needs vouchers, you may want to use the “talking points” we have previously provided.) Continue reading WASB Sample Board Letter to Legislators Regarding JFC Proposal on K-12 Education
Suggested Ways Your Board and Your District Can Talk to Your Legislators, Your Parents and Your Communities About the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Budget
What the JFC Budget Proposal means for districts generally…
From a funding standpoint:
- Funding support for public schools is slowly eroding.
- For the first time since revenue limits were imposed in 1993-94, there will be no adjustment in per pupil revenue limits in either year of the 2015-17 biennium.
- While the JFC proposal restored the proposed $127 million cut, there will be no increase in either general aids or per pupil aids in 2015-16.
- Merely restoring per pupil categorical aid to existing levels—a “no increase budget” in the first year, when expenses are going up, is “a cut by another name.”
- Much of the small increase in general aids in the second year (2016-17) will be offset by losses in aid due to expansion of statewide vouchers, special needs vouchers and independent charters.
- Special education categorical aid, the state aid that supports the education of students with disabilities, remains frozen in the proposed 2015-17 budget; it hasn’t been increased since 2008-09.
- While most other states have been increasing spending on public education at an average of 4 percent per year, public school funding in Wisconsin is essentially flat.
- Wisconsin will soon be spending less per pupil than the national average.
- We need a sustainable funding system with predictable increases in per pupil resources that match the rate of inflation.
- The public supports additional spending for schools. Recent public polls indicating that when asked which is more important: reducing property taxes or increasing spending on public schools, Wisconsin voters favored increasing school spending by a 54 percent to 40 percent margin.
- Our district has used the authority and flexibilities provided by Act 10 responsibly to regain control over much of the expense side of our budget. However, not all school district expenses can be controlled by Act 10. We ask that allowable resources for our students and all 860,000 public school students in our state allow us to keep pace with inflation to help us manage the costs we cannot control through the Act 10 tools. Continue reading Talking Points on the Joint Finance Committee Budget
The JFC budget approves the governor’s recommendation to prohibit the state superintendent from adopting or approving examinations developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Badger Exam) and prohibits the state from participating in the Smarter Balanced Consortium. The budget continues to fund implementation of the Dynamic Learning assessment system and the American College Testing (ACT) suite of tests. The ACT tests are administered to students in the 9th, 10th and 11th grades.
The budget version adopted by the JFC also eliminates the requirement that schools administer the ninth grade examination in the fall session (schools are still required to administer the ninth grade examination in the spring session).
In addition, the JFC budget bill would require that any assessment adopted and approved by the State Superintendent to replace the Badger Exam must meet the following criteria: Continue reading JFC Budget: Pupil Assessment Provisions